365 days ago, around this time, I was sitting in a meeting that would change my life. I should have known, but I guess I was in denial up until I walked in and saw our HR manager sitting there with A4 brown envelopes. Envelopes of that size and that colour never, ever have good news inside them. My team and I were told that the December issue of seventeen would be our last and at the end of 2013, seventeen would be no more. My dream job was over, my relationship was on the brink of breaking up and I came unmoored from life as I knew it.
It was a hard day. We were also signing off our November issue on the same day. Our seniors who had called the meeting and the HR manager were beyond kind to us, in a situation that called for civility, they were warm, understanding and caring to us as we went through the grieving of losing our jobs. For a while, it was uncertain of what would become of the team members. Would we be retrenched? Would we be placed elsewhere? Eventually, they managed to place most of the team members in different parts of the company (and those who left have found themselves in the best places), but the first few weeks of uncertainty were killer. The thought of having to try find a new job (and my lease was expiring) – made me dizzy with anxiety.
And above all, I was very alone in the first phase. Due to legal restraints I wasn’t able to share what was going on with my job except with my parents until a few weeks (heck, it may only have been ten days but it felt like a lifetime), after the announcement.
The weekend after I lost my job, Dean and I broke up. The reasons aren’t really important anymore, it happened. The two parts of my life (my job and relationship) that I used to define myself, at least in part, by were gone.
But now it’s 365 days later. Summer, Autumn, Winter and it’s Spring again. I’m still single. I’m in still in the position offered to me by the company. I’m stronger than I thought I could be. I’m happy, again. Maybe not every day. Maybe not always. But I’ve been through the storm and I’ve moored myself to something more constant than a man or a job. I’ve moored myself to myself. I’ve spent a lot of time alone in the past year, and I’ve grown more comfortable in my own skin.
I’m okay. I really am.
I began again and it hurt and it destroyed parts of my heart. But I rebuilt. And I grew up. And I grew strong.
Some endings destroy you for new beginnings.
Some things fall apart so that other things call fall into place.
You just have to keep going.